There have been numerous complaints by members of the public that some police officers render poor service – due to delays in their resolving criminal cases which can take up to a year.
Some people also say they are losing confidence in investigation officers whom they accuse of being unprofessional when it comes to solving their cases.
Contacted for comment, the Namibian Police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga said the issue is being attended to.
“We received a lot of complaints in terms of delays and poor investigation of cases. We have put up strategies to address this issue. We are working with the prosecutor-general’s office.”
“We have a system that makes sure that before the docket goes to the PG, it goes to the regional commander to inspect these dockets. We are tightening our belts to make sure that only those who go through well-articulated courses will be deployed to the CID (Criminal Investigation Directorate),” he said.
He further said the issue of a backlog in criminal cases remains a challenge.
“We have a lot of backlogs, it’s one of the challenges. Some police stations have a backlog of 200 to 500, which is a lot compared to international standards. We are conducting a docket operation to separate dockets of petty crime from serious crimes. We are trying to clear them,” he maintained.
Equally, there is a public perception that certain police officers ignore civilians when they visit police stations for assistance, as staff members are allegedly too pre-occupied on their cellphones.
In this regard, Ndeitunga condemned such bahaviour, calling on the public to report such incidences immediately.
“If anyone goes to a police station and comes across this, then it must be reported. There should be no delay – the words of efficiency and effectiveness should apply in the charge office. That is the window of the police,” he reacted.
However, he said, the issue of police officers being on the phone must be reported in the right context.
“Was he or she on the phone for a crime reported, or was it disregard for a member of public to receive required services? If it was done disregarding public members waiting for services, it is not in the code of conduct of the Namibian Police Force,” he noted.
He cautioned that a police officer is a public servant to any person who comes to the charge office.
“As a trained police officer, the first thing one will do is to ask ‘what can we do for you, Sir, or Madam?’ If there are those not doing so, we need to be informed immediately. Members of the public are entitled to look for a station commander at any police station and report such cases,” he further said.